The summer days are long, brutally hot (if you live in Texas you of course know this), and….oh so boring. The week nights are boring, Saturday afternoons are boring, Sunday days and nights are boring. Why you ask? Because there are no sports being played that matter to me. Please, please, please – football, basketball and hockey get here soon – I’m not sure how much more of this I can take. I’m a sports junkie and I’m just not getting my fix. Our local sports broadcast opens with a shot of the Cowboys plane sitting on a runway, presumably leaving for training camp in Oxnard, Ca. at some point. Gripping stuff. My national sports’ lead story is still….unbelievably….“deflategate.” I feel like Charlie Brown when he reaches his breaking point and just wants to scream……AAUGH! I’m not sure I can make it much longer.
I knew this was coming when the Stanley Cup, NBA Finals and College World Series (granted my interest blossomed with my Horned Frogs being a participant again) all came to an end within a couple weeks of each other. The summers of back-to-back Rangers’ World Series seasons of 2010 and 2011 seem so, so far away. I try hard to remember what it was like to anticipate a regular season baseball game, but just can’t quite seem to do it. Now I find myself tuning out after an inning or two (when I actually turn the game on). The homes games are especially difficult to watch, where the Rangers are a dismal 16-28 (last night’s 21-5 home thrashing by the Yankees did nothing to stem my tide of indifference). On the road they’re a solid 31-24…..but the majority of their divisional matchups don’t start until after 9:00pm local time and end around midnight. But even with baseball at its exciting best, its impossible to care, really care, about 162 regular season games.
So let’s look elsewhere to see what we can find. The great sport of boxing, which I used to love, is now a shadow of its former self. Its still on the tube every now and then, and last week I stopped down to watch two pugilists I’ve never heard of powder puff each other for 12 boring rounds (one guy looked like he was wearing a hula skirt). Even “Fights of the Century,” when they do rarely occur, are now nothing but $100 pay per view yawn fests and do nothing to break up my summer doldrums. I actually find myself wishing I was still in the age range to be fixated by professional wrestling – at least it’s on some cable channel seemingly every night.
I received a little sports “relief” during the USA women’s World Cup run, but honestly soccer isn’t my bag. Mexico’s men just won something called a Gold Cup, whatever that is, but I was more intrigued by the fact they turned around and fired their coach within hours of the victory (after an alleged fight with a journalist). FC Dallas is playing great in Frisco, and actually leading the MLS standings (see Stephen Hunt’s article today), but again not my bag. And triple digit heat makes it unlikely at best I’ll be attending anytime soon.
I enjoy the Majors in golf, especially with our home-town boy Jordan Spieth looking every bit like the next “Big Thing,” in each of them, but those only occur four times a summer. The other tournaments are pretty much good napping material to me. Tennis? Meh. Not my thing.
So back to baseball, and in particular the Rangers. First let me make myself clear when I say I don’t blame the team’s descent from 2011 on anything but bad luck (the curse of Nolan?), specifically an incredible string of injuries. But let’s look at the present. Will Jon Daniels make a blockbuster trade before Friday’s deadline? Maybe. Will Cole Hamels come to ply his craft in Arlington? Maybe. Will it help this year? Not in the least. But next year, as the life-long Cubs fan in me tries to reveal itself, I could easily envision a resurgence for the boys in red (or is it blue?) if – and again it’s a big if – Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, and Martin Perez can all get healthy and return to form (it would be nice to see Jurickson Profar without a sling on his arm as well). But the club still needs to find some serious bullpen help and a couple – not one, but a couple – of right handed bats, preferably with some power if they want to be playing in October anytime soon.
So for now I count down the days till Horned Frog and Cowboys football returns, till I hear the slap of a puck and the squeak of sneakers on hardwood at the AAC. And I catch up on my reading.